Monday, March 26, 2007

Free Parking

The Chronicle has a story today about the rampant cheating that goes on with parking placards in California. Apparently, not everyone with a blue free parking permit has a legitimate disability! IMAGINE! In a city widely known for its lack of parking, people are cheating. One in 16 California residents has a parking placard. What this means is that people with actual disabilities that impair mobility can't get parking when they need it. Further, because everybody in my town knows there are huge numbers of cheaters, we subject people with disabilities to a level of scrutiny (and mistrust) they frankly do not need or deserve. What a mess. From the article:

But last year, the DMV -- after its annual check of state death records -- canceled 25,352 permits after determining that the people to whom they were issued had died. Caregivers or relatives of the deceased are supposed to surrender placards.

"Annual check"?? Supposedly cities in California are stepping up enforcement. Sadly (but predictably) it was the hit to parking meter revenue that got the bureaucrats off their fannies, not concern for people with disabilities.

I think I'd like my next career to be Placard Enforcer. I wonder if they give you a badge. What do you think of a TV show based on this fantasy career? Maybe "CSI: Parking Enforcement" or "Law and Order: Cheater Unit."

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